May 3, 2010

In which I talk trash (mildly) with Jack Welch

How bad are my beloved Baltimore Orioles this year?

I know we're only 25 games into the Major League Baseball season, but the O's have a .280 winning percentage, which is the worst record in the American League, and bad enough that it probably can't reasonably be called a "winning" percentage.

To help put that in perspective, the team with the worst record in the National League, the Houston Astros, began the season by losing eight consecutive games (which is a winning percentage of roughly .000) and have now lost their last six games... and they are still doing better than the Orioles.

This has made me a little defensive about my Birds.

So on Friday, I took umbrage when I saw that Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric and (as his website notes) the man Fortune magazine called "Manager of the Century," was using his Twitter account to talk smack about his favorite team's upcoming games:

Unfortunately, I was pretty sure he was right: The Red Sox probably would do what they usually do when they come to Baltimore, and beat the tar out of the Orioles. But still, I made a mental note

And then, something magical, nay, miraculous happened.

Friday, the Orioles won, 5-4.

Saturday, they won again, 12-9, for their third win of the season against the Sox and sixth win overall. (Sort of a good news-bad news situation when you're a month into the baseball season and half of your wins have come against the Red Sox.)

And then, Sunday, the Birds completed the sweep, winning a 3-2 extra-inning thriller.

Which immediately reminded me of Jack Welch's tweet. So just for fun, I got on my BlackBerry and wrote:
I normally don't engage in trash-talk with corporate titans, but how often would I get a chance like this? (The last time the Orioles swept the Sox in Baltimore was 1998.) And, to my credit, I thought I showed great restraint in not pointing out that he spelled the word hapless with an extra s. Besides, what are the odds the great Jack Welch would even see my tweet?

Pretty good, as it turns out:
Thank you, Mr. Welch. And, may I just say, Orioles Magic! Feel it happen.


bugs said...

yea!!!! go o's!!!!
(funny that your mother mentioned it was the first time they swept the sox since 1974!!! the year after "you were born," she said. so later that evening, my husband mentioned that your mother may, in fact, be incorrect. so, your blog confirmed that! :))
i think there was a new philosophy for the o's this season...see, normallly, we start off strong, then deteriorate (quickly) once the season really gets going. this year, i'm thinkin', we're starting off so badly that there's really nowhere to go but up!!!
and, congrats on hob nobbing with jack welch. super duper impressive.

Your escalator operator said...

I like your theory about the season. We'll see.

Actually, mom is right, too, in a way. The last THREE-GAME sweep of Boston at Baltimore was in 1974, and that's what most of the articles about the sweep reported. I just thought it was weird they glossed over the last sweep of any length, which was a four-game sweep in 1998 - and, since I said "the last sweep," that seemed more appropriate.

Have I sufficiently bored everyone?

FilmFather said...

Pretty cool that you interacted with Mr. Welch. Amazing who you can connect with on the interwebs these days.

I too am an O's fan (Ken Singleton = hero), but I haven't been an avid follower since the late '90s or so (marriage, kids, etc.). Thanks for that YouTube clip -- it brought back a lot of memories. But I wonder: What ever happened to Wild Bill Hagey?

Your escalator operator said...

FF - Yeah, that song sure brings back memories of the good old days when they contended for the playoffs every year. Hard to imagine now.

Wild Bill died in 2007 - my parents clipped the obit from the Baltimore Sun for me that day. See,0,6070926.column